I had a bit of a discussion with Mike Minium Saturday evening. Mike is one of those folks who does more than you could ever imagine for orienteering, and does it well too.
Mire was the WRE event advisor. Responsible for the WRE, not the whole event. Nevertheless, when he made a visit in February to check things out, he checked all the controls, not just the M21 and F21. He's already written on AP about the difficulty of dealing with a map that you wish were better. One of those cases where you have choices, but none of them are very good, so you do the best you can.
And Mike visited #6 on Saturday's Brown course. And came back and told the organizers to fix the map or not use the control.
In checking things Thursday/Friday, again trying to check everything, not just the M21/F21, nothing had been done to #6. And it was too late for him to do anything. And he saw it was just on the Brown, and hoped we could deal with it. And wished there was a better choice.
I don't fault Mike at all. In fact I give him credit for all his efforts. But how is it that the event advisor can say it's wrong, and nothing changes?
Having said that, I will also admit that there is a part of me that sympathizes with the course setter, because I had had that role many times, and it is not easy. The grading system is OK/fail, where no mistakes translates to an OK score, and even one small mistake translates to fail. I wish there was another way. I wish there was a way of dealing with mistakes, so that one mistake wasn't fatal. But that doesn't seem possible.
And yet in Adventure Racing, which I have never done, misplaced controls and bad maps seem to be common occurrences. And they deal with it. Exactly how I'm not sure, but they deal with it. And there are a lot more AR people then there are orienteers.
We strive for perfection, and being human, often/usually don't get there. That's true for the organizers, also true for our performances as orienteers.
Are we just setting ourselves up for failure? And yet this seems to be the way we want it. Is there another way?